Boat Speed, Explained

By Marlene Royle

Caversham, United Kingdom; GBR W4X. Bow, Katie SOLESBURY [GREVE], Beth RODFORD, Annie VERNON ans Debbie FLOOD. Photo: Peter Spurrier

To get your boat going faster with ease you need momentum. To carry that momentum down the race course you need swing. To capture swing you need rhythm and suspension on the drive. Sounds easy enough, right? It’s not. First, the recovery has to be spot on. To release the energy of the drive you need to release the blade cleanly and let the boat run. From there, focus on sending the boat when you follow through and pivoting at the hip to set your reach out of the bow. Hold your body angle stable as the wheels on your seat turn until you set the blade. To capture swing on the drive you will need a solid entry. Bury your blade properly so you have a secure hold on the water. Think hips as you press off the foot stretchers. Engage your glutes and then squeeze to slightly lift and unload the seat. Simultaneously stabilize your shoulder blades and draw down against your rib cage. Try to create a connection between your trunk and the handle. When you start to swing your shoulders over your hips, keep your weight between your feet and your handle. Stay light on the seat. Gather in the arms when you feel your weight starts to settle onto the seat. Keep the same lightness of the hips that you felt at the initiation of the drive through the release. Complete the leg drive and hold pressure to the footplate as you pivot over again out of bow.